What technology has been the biggest game-changer over the past decade?

2.9k views3 Upvotes24 Comments

Director of IT in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I'm going to answer this a little bit more generically; I think a lot of the productivity tools have been significantly game-changing for me. Especially working in these late-stage startups, things like Slack and Teams in the collaboration and communication space have been what has essentially allowed me to scale in a way that I have not been able to in any other capacity. So, if I measure this based on purely my capability and execution, I would say things like Slack and Teams; productivity tools.
CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
I'm going to go back to the very outskirts of this 15-year limit, because I've always been efficiency oriented and applied innovative thinking around developing more efficiency, whether it's for my team or delivering applications for the rest of the business. In 1999, I first approached HP about, I didn’t call it cloud, better utilization of hardware, and the labs told me at the time that they're working on something called utility or grid computing. About three years later (2002) at Gilead, I brought VMware in and it changed my life through the ability to grow that business and provide for unique ways to solve existing problems that no VMware person would have even advertised for at the time. It really was a game changer. At the time, that was the biggest single change to how I could deliver services and applications to my customers and enable their growth without significantly adding more bodies, and that was critical. I mean, they were an academic group who saw IT as just noise in the background to their big brains building new drugs, and so it was really hard to get money.
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CTO in Software, 11 - 50 employees

Yeah. I would say Diane Greene was the original growth hacker because she gave this away for free; she gave ESX or ESXi, whatever it was called back then, for free. You get it in development labs, and it spreads like wildfire. That was absolutely genius. And then Amazon/AWS saw the benefit of this, but I give her super-kudos for doing that.

CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees

Yeah. I mean I don't know if it's documented anywhere other than in some of Gilead's old validation files somewhere; validation is an FDA term for equipment or services or products that support the drug development lifecycle. And we were the first biotech pharma company that validated a system using VMware or using any kind of virtualization and I can tell you it was a huge hurdle.

CTO in Software, 11 - 50 employees

That's a regulatory hurdle not easily crossed.

VP, Customer and Technical Operations in Software, 501 - 1,000 employees
I agree with both the cloud computing and collaboration tools. But I think I'd make it a little more personal; I'll go with the G Suite and Office 365 because I sleep a lot better. I look back earlier in my career how often the exchange server was down at 3AM, or the file server was down or somebody couldn’t connect the VPN to get to it or whatever, and it's amazing what a time sink that was and how much time is saved as well as cost. Alsom everyone actually likes the tools, which is even better, whereas prior to that it seemed like everything we gave them they didn't like. I mean, when it came to the much older versions of those collaboration tools.
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CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

And you couldn't just hop online at two or three in the morning; you had to go down and wait a couple minutes for whatever machine you had to fire up and then you had to dial up the modem and then hope that connected, you just couldn't do that when I started working.

Board Member, Former CIO in Software, 10,001+ employees
I really struggled not to think about the mobile phone. I mean, especially when you're going back 10/15 years because it was only 2007 that the iPhone was released. I find it fascinating to go back and watch Steve Jobs' introduction of the iPhone in January of 2007. I remember exactly how I responded emotionally to watching things like the pinch and zoom with photos and just the whole interface, thinking, "It's not possible that they actually made it work that way in real life, this is a demo." And then, when I got my first phone, I was just amazed.

Fast forward 14 years to today, there is so much stuff that I can do on this thing. In some cases what I find most incredible are the applications that can really only be done on the phone. The things where they integrate GPS, the cameras, AR, etc. I use Ubiquiti in my home setup, and I love the little AR thing that they have. When you get to your switchboard it'll tell you exactly which switch port maps to which device on your home network. I mean, it's like, "Who would've thunk," that we would have a little phone that would be able to help us see that kind of stuff? I find that really incredible.
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CTO in Software, 11 - 50 employees

Don't judge my parenting skills here but when our oldest son was 2, I got him an iPod Touch and it was so intuitive for him to understand it; there's no barrier to entry and that is absolute UI/UX genius. Steve Jobs, absolute visionary. And Jony Ive and the rest of the design team. This killed Nokia, Motorola StarTAC, and BlackBerry. You talk about Clayton disruptive industries, this killed so many other players. I think this will be a business school study for years gone by; I don't think many of us still understand the ramifications of what this did.

Board Member, Former CIO in Software, 10,001+ employees

He was talking about being years ahead of his time and how he's going to transform the industry, and it just sounded like total hubris. But now it's like, "Well, duh," how could this not have.

CTO in Software, 11 - 50 employees

This seems so intuitive to me now like, "Why didn't everybody see it back 14/15 years ago."

CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I'm going to say SAP. Not that I want to give them a plug or that I ever worked for them, but for me it was the first big project I really worked on at that size and scale, and globally, and it taught me a couple things. It taught me about the integrated nature of doing business. One configuration change over here can cascade all the way down and screw something up all the way over there. And knowing how all of the pieces of your business go from end to end, and then being part of an effort that is just so Herculean, I always tell people in IT if you've never actually worked on an SAP project or some large ERP, you just don't really have a sense of what being an IT professional is like. So, for me, that was game changing.
Managing Partner, Partnerships & Strategy in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Public cloud. Just look at all the new online platforms and services available, on-premise to cloud migrations, cloud-native businesses that have sprung up, and so on.
CEO in Software, 2 - 10 employees
As a Blockchain Technology Expert, author of the Future with Blockchain Book https://connectdapp.com/our-founder-book/ , i would vouch that Blockchain will change the game of technology in the next 100 Years, will difficulty add a higher security with less budget, being injected in too many areas, including Finance, Banking, Insurance, Realestate, Customs and International Trading, Digital signature and much more, not only Cryptocurrency as financial application of Blockchain but also in current application and systems, Imagine replacing huge investment in Banking Security system with Blockchain to secure customer funds and no way on earth that those customer funds could be accessed without owner consent.
CIO in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
There has been a significant evolution of cloud services, computing power/cost which has helped to full the "digital" economy through the gathering, transformation and consumption of large quantities of data. The companies that have identified this new resource as a competitive advantage will fuel their business growth for years to come until the competition catches up. Looking at the last few years, there is finally a realization from across the c-suite that employees do not have to work from the office to be effective and deliver value. This will create opportunities for a more flexible working environment which will help attract and maintain talent.
Director Of Technology in Education, 51 - 200 employees
Blockchain. Not cryptocurrency alone but blockchain itself.
Board Member in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
The ubiquitous wireless connectivity with ever increasing speeds that we experience wherever we go on whichever device we want. Without connectivity, everything else would have been relegated to physically grounded access.

From 3G, LTE, to 5G now, the evolution created possibilities for Enterprises and individuals that were science fiction or imaginary to say the least.

What use is a smartphone, Teams, Zoom, G-suite, Slack, or whatever the passion and flavor of the day/week/month is when you cannot access what you want on the go.

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CEO in Services (non-Government), Self-employed
Using AI tools 2-3 a week. Use cases: 
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CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
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